4 charged in escape attempt; County inmates tried to force way out of jail

Published 12:12 am Friday, November 14, 2014

NATCHEZ Four Adams County inmates have been charged with attempted escape after trying to ram their way out of a contained area in the county jail.

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said the inmates had found a way to jam their individual cell doors so the cells would not lock, and were in the open area of a cellblock when they should not have been.

“The jailer noticed on the video they were out of the cells, so they got some deputies and went up there to look into it,” Mayfield said.

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“The guys in the cell block rushed the door and tried to force their way out using mattresses as shields.”

When the prisoners refused an order by jail staff to cease in their escape attempt, the deputies and jail staff were able to restrain them using chemical — pepper spray — and physical means, Mayfield said.

The incident happened at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Prisoners Justin Michael Gray, 21; William Ryan Magee, 22; Tyrone Lee McGriff, 23, and Maurice Edward Davis Jr., 22, were all charged in the incident with attempted escape of prisoners.

Davis was detained in the jail on a city mittimus on charges of aggravated assault and murder. He’s accused of fatally shooting a 20-year-old man in the back of the head during a robbery.

Gray is awaiting trial on charges of simple assault, burglary, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of schedule III substance and possession of stolen property.

The charges against Magee include armed robbery and two counts possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

McGriff is being detained on a city mittimus on a charge of burglary of an inhabited dwelling with a weapon. He also has a Mississippi Department of Corrections hold on him.

Even if the prisoners had been able to get out of the cellblock, they would have still been within a larger contained area in the jail, and Mayfield said the prisoners were never close to actually escaping.

“If protocols are followed, no prisoner is going to escape,” Mayfield said. “No policies or procedures were broken, so they never got out of the cellblock.”

The sheriff said the prisoners are still being interviewed, and officials have not determined if the incident was spontaneous or planned.